Confusion Galore: long waits and wrong addresses mar vaccination drive in UP

People crowding and flouting social distancing while waiting to be inoculated against Covid-19 at Sector 30 District Hospital in Noida PHOTO:Getty

A jubilant lot of students were greeted with confusion on the first day of vaccination for the 18 to 44 years in Noida and Greater Noida. The shortage of vaccines leads to the uproar in the district hospital 

The first day of vaccination drive in Noida and Greater Noida for the age group of 18-44 years was tempered with confusion to put it mildly. 

Large numbers of youth—girls and boys—had come out for vaccination. They were very excited. Ujawal Bhasin, an engineering student, rode his bike to the District Hospital in Sector 30 of Noida at 8:30 am to avail early bird advantage. He had to wait for hours as the vaccination process only started at 1:30 pm. “It did start at 9 am,” he informed on phone in Hindi, “but soon ran out of the vaccines, and some of the people eagerly waiting in the sun, lost their cool, created ruckus.” 

It was only in the afternoon that the vaccination could resume. Also, people above the age of 45 years were vaccinated. As per the official figures, out of 1072 were vaccinated in the district hospital on the first day, this included 633 who were 45 years and above—424 of them were administered the second dose. Only 349 of the Ujawal’s age group could be inoculated. In total, 2603 people of the age group of 18 to 44 were vaccinated in 19 centers. 

The situation was even worse in other designated health centers. To add to the confusion, the state government’s Covid portal was providing the wrong addresses of the various health centers designated as venues to inoculate members of the public. Due to lack of application of mind, some of the eager youth present there called it “government apathy”, many had to travel 30-40 kilometers to get their fast jab. 

The enthusiasm of the youth was often met with frustration and confusion, as covid portal supplied confusing information—like some of the village health centers had the same addresses of Sector 30 and Sector 50. When many of the youth arrived at these addresses, they were informed that there’s no health center here and were redirected to places 30 to 40 kilometers away—in Dadri or Jewar.

Also, the vaccine protocol is that people have to wait for half an hour or so to ascertain if there’s some side effect or reaction. Only, then are they supposed to leave the health centers. Ujwal, informs that many like him, just drove off after they were vaccinated. “There was no point staying there with so many people around. I was acutely conscious that I might get infected in my pursuit to get vaccinated.” He was narrating the story of an elderly neighbour, who in all likelihood got infected while lining up to take the jab last month. 

The health centers were crowded as hundreds turned up for vaccination without registering online. The crowd of clueless people, mostly enthusiastic college students, added to the confusion. The health department functionaries were trying to explain that it’s mandatory to get registered for vaccination. Ujwal had got himself registered, and he informed that the district hospital took 600 registrations on the first day. 

Perhaps, things will improve in the next few days—but the confusion caused by health portal misdirecting people by providing fault addresses could have been avoided.

 

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